This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 8, 2013 for week ending May 17, 2013

lede

"(Our) latest report looks at executive pay practices and points out that ordinary taxpayers are actually subsidizing CEO pay at big companies like the ones leading the Fix the Debt campaign ... a corporate lobby group with an initial budget of $60 million and big name CEOs (advocating) for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Their tax proposals (are) all about getting more tax breaks for large corporations like the ones they run."

– Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy project director, on how CEOs leading the austere Fix the Debt campaign benefit from huge tax loopholes that allow unlimited deductions for performance-based CEO compensation, such as stock options, which contributes to the nation's deficit


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Ralph Nader: President Obama’s Drone Warfare Program Violates U.S. and International Law

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Interview with Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, lawyer, and former presidential candidate, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

drone

Since President Obama took office in 2009, it’s estimated that the U.S. drone program has killed more than 3,000 people in counter-terrorist strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, all ordered without due process or judicial oversight. On April 27, the Yale Law School presented a panel discussion titled, "Thinking About Drone Warfare." The event featured four guest speakers from academia, human rights groups, law and public policy organizations. Panelists discussed the constitutionality of drone warfare from varying perspectives, most concluding that, whether under President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama, the secretive, extra-judicial killing of anyone deemed to be a terrorist – and even more so the killing of totally innocent people in the process – is both legally and morally wrong.  Story continues

Corporate CEOs Advocating Austerity Policies Receive Millions in Taxpayer-Subsidized Stock Options

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Interview with Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies' Global Economy project director, conducted by Scott Harris

CEOpay

Since late in 2012, a group known as Fix the Debt Campaign, led by private equity billionaire Pete Peterson, has advocated for deep cuts in the federal budget while protecting tax breaks for corporations and the rich. Among the targets of the $60 million campaign, are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. While the objectives of the corporate-backed campaign have not yet succeeded, the group has exerted influence on the national debate where Congressional budget negotiations are focused on the Republican and conservative austerity agenda of slashing popular social safety net programs.  Story continues

Innovative, Democratic and Sustainable Economic Models Emerge as Viable Alternatives to America’s Current Failing System

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Interview with Gar Alperovitz, professor of political economy and author of "What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution", conducted by Scott Harris

neweconomy

Economists and pundits tell us that the U.S. economy is slowly healing after the near collapse ushered in by the housing bubble bursting in 2007 and 2008. And while the unemployment rate was down a little in May to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, the "real" unemployment rate, which counts the underemployed and discouraged workers, is 13.8 percent of the workforce. The “Great Recession” exposed the unpleasant reality of many of the longstanding downward trends in the American economy, where the middle class is shrinking, income and wealth inequality are and families are struggling to buy or keep their homes, pay health care bills and afford college tuition.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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